Course Aim

To introduce students to fundamental fluid transport physics at the micron and nanometer scale for applications in micro/nanofluidic devices. This course will also illuminate and explore microfluidics as an interdisciplinary research area, with an emphasis on emerging microfluidics disciplines.

Course Description

Explore the interface between engineering and miniaturization, one of the most intriguing and active areas of inquiry in modern technology, through the interdisciplinary research area of microfluidics. Investigate emerging microfluidics disciplines, including molecular assembly to bulk and device level scales, and applications in novel materials synthesis, bio-technology and nanotechnology.  Learn about fundamental aspects of fluid mechanics, scaling laws and flow transport at small length scales with case studies in multi-phase flows, droplet-based microfluidics along with capillary-driven, pressure-driven, and electro-kinetic based microfluidics.  Perform hands-on lab experiments on standard microfabrication techniques and lab-on-a-chip device integration.

Course Contents

1 Introduction to microfluidics; Scaling analysis
2 Low Reynolds number flows
3 Pressure-driven microfluidics
4 Capillary-driven microfluidics
5 Microfabrication
6 Diffusion in microfluidics
7 Mixing in microfluidics
8 Droplet microfluidics and 2-phase flows
9 Bio-MEMs


Homework: 20%, Midterm Exam: 30%, Lab: 20%, Course Project: 30%

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Fluid Mechanics


Introduction to Microfluidics by Patrick Tabeling, 2010, Oxford University Press

Reference Books

Fundamentals and Applications of Microfluidics by Nam-Trung Nguyen and Steve Wereley, Artech House; 2002.
Micro- and Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics: Transport in Microfluidic Devices, by Brian Kirby, Cambridge University Press, 2013.


Course not offered AY2023-AY2025